Preview Performance of "Birdbath" Scheduled for March 5-6 in UB Center for the Arts

By David Wedekindt

Release Date: February 18, 2003

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Invited by the Université de Franche-Comté, France, the International Artistic and Cultural Exchange (IACE) Program of the University at Buffalo Department of Theatre and Dance will bring a student delegation to represent the university and the United States at the 12th Rencontres Internationales du Théâtre (TUFC) to be held March 11-15, in Besançon, France.

The international outreach program is co-sponsored by the International University Theatre Association (AITU), the Université de Franche-Comté, the Melodia Jones Chair in French of the UB Department of Romance Languages and the IACE Program of the UB Department of Theatre and Dance.

While in Besançon, IACE will present the interdisciplinary multimedia adaptation of "Birdbath" as conceived and directed by Maria S. Horne, UB associate professor of theatre and dance. This production of Leonard Melfi's one-act play adds poetic text, music, dance and creative multimedia to the original material.

During the past six months, IACE's creative research team has been investigating and testing different approaches, techniques and technologies applied to performance. The result of their research will be tried out on this piece and comparative data will be gathered both from Buffalo and Besancon's responses. Thus, this performance is envisioned as experimental theatre research, which explores the potential interaction between Method Acting and new technologies across the performing arts disciplines.

In addition, and as part of France's National Manifestation of Poetry, the UB delegation will present "The Poet in New York: Homage to UB Poets," a selection of poems by renowned contemporary American writers affiliated with UB.

Also, during the festival, IACE will seek to identify Francophone theatre companies with the goal of bringing such companies to perform at the UB Center for the Arts in the upcoming season.

The UB delegation will include Horne of Williamsville, IACE founder; UB theatre and dance students Jane Bacon (Warwick), Thomas DeTrinis (Long Island), Jamie Elvey (Amherst), Matthew Erickson (Depew), James Hergenroder (Orchard Park), Cate Lynch (Marcellus), Heather Murphy (Painted Post), Lindsay Rogan (Westbury), Dena Roncone (West Seneca), Kevin Smith (Corning), and Chelsea Warren (Mount Kisco); and UB media studies students Michael Arisohn (Clifton Park) and Andrew Michaeloff (New York City). Vincent O'Neill (Buffalo), chair of the UB Department of Theatre and Dance, will accompany the group.

A preview performance of "Birdbath" will be held prior to its France premiere at 8 p.m. on March 5 and 6 in the Black Box Theatre in the Center for the Arts on the UB North (Amherst) Campus. Tickets are $5, with proceeds to benefit student travel fund. Tickets are available from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday in the Center Box Office and at all Ticketmaster locations, including Kaufmann's. To charge tickets, call 852-5000; in Canada, call 416-870-8000. For group sales, call 645-6771. For more information, call 645-ARTS or visit the Web site at http://www.arts.buffalo.edu.

Since its inception in 1994, IACE has promoted a better understanding of multicultural heritage by bringing artists of multicultural background from around the world to UB and the neighboring community. IACE also has made it possible for the Department of Theatre and Dance to perform in more than a dozen international festivals in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, France, Mexico, Spain and the United States. In this particular occasion, not only will the students have the chance to perform at the International Festival of Theatre, but they also will have the opportunity to embark on international workshops and attend performances by renowned international professors and students representing universities from around the world. Countries in attendance will include Algeria, Bulgaria, France, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Ukraine, United States and Venezuela.